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Thursday 4th March 2021

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Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick championed GODZone competitors and the race organisers this morning when she delivered an official event welcome to Rotorua via video messaging.

Today’s official GODZone Chapter 9 welcome and event race briefing planned for the Rotorua Energy Event Centre (EEC) was canned due to New Zealand’s current Level 2 Covid restrictions. Instead, teams received all their crucial information for the expedition adventure race online before completing individual gear checks at the EEC within their team bubbles.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome GODZone Chapter 9 to the region,” said Mayor Chadwick. “There is a huge number of people here who wanted to welcome you in person, and not being able to awhi you with a traditional pōwhiri as planned is a real disappointment for all of us, and it will be for you as well.”

“GODZone is all about adversity – knowing it, taking it on, and beating it,” said Mayor Chadwick. “Like you, the competitors, the GODZone management team and ourselves have adapted to enable this race to take place and to give you this taste of Rotorua. One thing that hasn’t changed is the spectacular terrain that you will encounter on your journey – the geothermal landscape here is diverse and extreme, and you will be challenged as you traverse our mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests.”

She thanked GODZone event directors Warren Bates, Adam Fair maid, and the broader team for bringing the expedition adventure race to the region during testing times.

“I know the pandemic is making hosting these kinds of events extremely difficult – I applaud your courage and tenacity in continuing with the event and not letting down these athletes who have put in so much time and training to get here. I can’t wait to follow everyone’s progress online.”

The eight-day expedition adventure race gets underway tomorrow (Friday March 5th) at 9 am from Rotorua’s iconic Redwoods Maori village, that was announced as the start line today.

Former All Black Captain Richie McCaw will be lining up in his third GODZone and has already had to shake off a couple of curveballs, with teammate Aaron Prince withdrawing with a broken hand and Rob Nichol unable to get out of Auckland.
However, McCaw’s Team isport has two worthy replacements, with 2 x Coast to Coast champion Dougal Allan and renowned orienteer Theo Wordsworth stepping in alongside 2 x Coast to Coast champion Simone Maier.

At GODZone registration today, he said they were looking forward to getting racing underway.

“This team has not spent that much time together, but we are all hugely competitive people, with Simone and Dougal both 2x Coast to Coast world champions. We are not just here to cruise along and are going to go out there and do the best we can,” says Richie McCaw. “If we manage to get our navigation correct and move efficiently through the course, maybe we will be in the mix.”

“A big attraction for Chapter 9 is coming to race in Rotorua in the North Island for the first time,” said McCaw. “The cultural side of things here is great, and while it’s disappointing for all teams not to make it, the bright side is that the race is going ahead. It is awesome that Rotorua has got behind it.”

GODZone competitors received their topography maps and course directions today. The 666-kilometre course consists of mountain biking through the famous Redwoods Forest, pack rafting down the Mohaka River, a nearly 100km trek over the Kaweka and Kaimanawa Ranges, along with kayaking the length of Lake Taupo.

The total trek distance is 109km, mountain bike 365km, kayak 57km, pack raft 13km, and pack raft/trekking 122km.

Race Dates: Friday, March 5th – Sunday, March 14th
What: The world’s largest expedition adventure race held for the first time in the North Island, New Zealand. Teams will race over an unknown course over eight days across the wider Rotorua /BOP district.
Length of race: GZ PURE teams will experience roughly 365km of mountain biking, 140km of paddling, and 190km of trekking in total.
Course & Maps: GODZone teams use various disciplines such as pack rafting, trekking, mountain biking, mountain trekking to go from point to point through the course. The course is open 24 hours, and competitors will race day and night, stopping at transition areas to change disciplines and pick up equipment.
GPS Tracking: All teams are required to carry a GPS tracking system (yellow brick) at all times while on the course. Media can follow their progress on our live site at https://godzoneadventure.com.
Media Output: Video clips, high-resolution images, and VNR’s sent out daily. If media would like to receive news on a specific team, please email margo@qt.co.nz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/godzoneadventure
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/godzonepure

For more media information, media interviews & imagery requests contact:

Margo Berryman
GODZone Media Manager
P: +64 21 246 3342
E: margo@qt.co.nz

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